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Implied Consent

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The Georgia Implied Consent Law Explained:

Georgia law requires you to submit to chemical testing of your breath, blood, or urine to determine the presence of alcohol or drugs if you are arrested for DUI. But the arresting officer must advise you of how the test results or your refusal to submit to testing can be used against you as well as other notice requirements.

Georgia DUI Lawyer Richard Lawson is a Former DUI Prosecutor with almost 20 years experience defending DUI's in Georgia.  He is the top-rated and most reviewed Georgia DUI Lawyer.

10 Day Warning!!!

Remember, time is of the essence.  Your only have 10 days to protect your right to drive.  Your Georgia DUI Attorney must send a hearing request (an appeal) to the Department of Driver Services in order to protect your right to drive. If this hearing request is not made timely, your drivers license of privilege to drive in Georgia may be suspended for up to one year.  In the event of a refusal, the suspension will be a "hard suspension," without even a restricted permit to drive.

You can refuse to submit to chemical testing, but because driving is deemed a privilege and not a right, the State of Georgia can place restrictions on your driving privilege and also suspend your license or privilege to drive within this state if you refuse to submit to the requested testing. The State of Georgia can only suspend your privilege to drive within this state if you do not have a Georgia driver's license and the officer cannot mislead you to believe that an out of state license will be suspended under Georgia's implied consent law.

If You Submit to the State's Test of Your Blood, Breath, or Urine:

If you submit to testing and the test results show a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 grams or more or if you refuse to take a test, the maximum license suspension is a period of one year beginning 30 days after your arrest, subject to the right to an appeal. This is an administrative suspension that goes into effect long before you may ever step foot inside a courtroom to answer the criminal charge of DUI.

If you did submit to the state test and you are 21 or older, you will be able to get a limited permit which will allow you to drive to work, school, and to seek medical care and treatment, and your license will be eligible for early reinstatement after 30 days if you attend a Risk Reduction course (DUI school). This administrative suspension will be credited toward any suspension period imposed in the criminal action.

If You Refuse to Submit to the State's Test of Your Blood, Breath, or Urine:

If you refused to take the state-administered test, you are facing a hard 12 month license suspension and you will not be entitled to a limited driving permit. A hard suspension is sometimes misunderstood by people because people generally think there are exceptions for medical or work-related matters.  In a refusal, there is no limited or hardship permit whatsoever.  As a result, your Georgia DUI Lawyer needs to get the refusal withdrawn in order to restore your driving privileges.

There are two types of withdrawals of the refusal.  Your Georgia DUI Attorney will make every attempt to get a unilateral withdrawal of the refusal.  In that event, the arresting officer removes the refusal and your license is restored.  Also, you will not be committed to plead guilty to the DUI in the case of a unilateral withdrawal of the refusal (the D.D.S. 1205 form).

The other type of the withdrawal of the refusal is a withdrawal of the D.D.S. 1205 form in exchange for a plea of guilty to the DUI. The result is that the accused will no longer face a hard suspension of their license.  They will qualify for a limited permit (restricted license), assuming it's a first DUI in 5 years.  However, the negative side is the accused is now contractually obligated to plead guilty to the DUI.  The DUI will go on the accused driver's criminal record.

There Are Different Implied Consent Warnings Depending On Age And Type of License:

The arresting officer must read the appropriate Implied Consent Notice depending on your age or driver's license status.  There are separate notices for drivers age 21 or over, drivers under age 21, and drivers of commercial vehicles.  This is due to the differences in the “per se” level of impairment and license suspensions as applied to these separate classes of drivers under Georgia law. The per se level of impairment for commercial drivers is 0.04 grams and for drivers under the age of 21 the per se level is only 0.02 grams or more.

Implied Consent Notice for Suspects 21 or Over:

Georgia law requires you to submit to state administered chemical tests of your blood, breath, urine, or other bodily substances for the purpose of determining if you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If you refuse this testing, your Georgia driver's license or privilege to drive on the highways of this state will be suspended for a minimum period of one year. Your refusal to submit to the required testing may be offered into evidence against you at trial. If you submit to testing and the results indicate an alcohol concentration of 0.08 grams or more, your Georgia driver's license or privilege to drive on the highways of this state may be suspended for a minimum period of one year. After first submitting to the required state tests, you are entitled to additional chemical tests of your blood, breath, urine, or other bodily substances at your own expense and from qualified personnel of your own choosing. Will you submit to the state administered chemical tests of your (designate which tests) under the implied consent law?

Implied Consent Notice for Suspects Under Age 21:

Georgia law requires you to submit to state administered chemical tests of your blood, breath, urine, or other bodily substances for the purpose of determining if you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If you refuse this testing, your Georgia driver's license or privilege to drive on the highways of this state will be suspended for a minimum period of one year. Your refusal to submit to the required testing may be offered into evidence against you at trial. If you submit to testing and the results indicate an alcohol concentration of 0.02 grams or more, your Georgia driver's license or privilege to drive on the highways of this state may be suspended for a minimum period of one year. After first submitting to the required state tests, you are entitled to additional chemical tests of your blood, breath, urine, or other bodily substances at your own expense and from qualified personnel of your own choosing. Will you submit to the state administered chemical tests of your (designate which tests) under the implied consent law?

Implied Consent Notice for Drivers of Commercial Motor Vehicles:

Georgia law requires you to submit to state administered chemical tests of your blood, breath, urine, or other bodily substances for the purpose of determining if you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If you refuse this testing, you will be disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle for a minimum period of one year. Your refusal to submit to the required testing may be offered into evidence against you at trial. If you submit to testing and the results indicate the presence of any alcohol, you will be issued an out-of-service order and will be prohibited from operating a motor vehicle for 24 hours. If the results indicate an alcohol concentration of 0.04 grams or more, you will be disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle for a minimum period of one year. After first submitting to the required state tests, you are entitled to additional chemical tests of your blood, breath, urine, or other bodily substances at your own expense and from qualified personnel of your own choosing. Will you submit to the state administered chemical tests of your (designate which tests) under the implied consent law?

Defenses To Your DUI in Georgia Based On Issues Involving the Georgia Implied Consent Warning:

Unless you were in an accident resulting in serious injury or other exigent circumstances exists, you must be placed under arrest for DUI Less Safe before the officer can read you the implied consent notice and request a State chemical test. Georgia courts have somewhat strictly construed the meaning of “time of arrest.” The officer should not wait until you have arrived at the police station or hospital to request testing, but certain exigent circumstances may excuse a delayed advisement of your implied consent rights.

The implied consent notice must be read in its entirety.  If the officer gives an inaccurate or misleading advisement of your implied consent rights, he has deprived you of your ability to make an informed decision of whether to submit to chemical testing.

The choice of the type of test lies with the arresting officer and he can request multiple tests.  But substantial compliance is critical and if the officer first requests only a breath test and subsequently requests a blood test he must re-read the implied consent notice to properly request the second test.  If the officer requests one type of test and you state that you will only submit to a different type of test, your response will be deemed a refusal unless you agree to submit to the test requested by the officer.

If you do not answer the question or otherwise remain silent, your silence will be deemed a refusal to submit to testing.  But if you did not understand the implied consent notice, or even if you were in an accident and rendered unconscious, you are deemed to have not withdrawn your consent.  The same applies if you do not speak or understand English.

If you refuse to submit to chemical testing to determine whether you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, your refusal creates an inference that the test would have shown the presence of alcohol, but the prosecuting attorney will still have to prove that you were impaired to the extent that you were less safe to drive.

You are not entitled to an attorney when making the decision of whether or not to submit to chemical testing under the implied consent law.  Nor is the officer required to advise you of your Miranda rights.  And if the officer does read you your Miranda rights and you are advised of your right to remain silent, any subsequent silence in response to the officer's request for a chemical test will still be deemed a refusal.

A refusal can be justified, though, if you were given a misleading or inaccurate implied consent advisement. For example, the officer cannot influence you to take the test by telling you that he will let you go if your test shows a BAC of less than 0.08 grams or mislead you about how your license will be affected.

If you decide later to submit to chemical testing, your initial refusal may be invalidated. You must affirmatively request the test yourself and your request for testing must be made within a very short and reasonable time after the prior refusal, at a time when the test would still be accurate, when testing equipment is still readily available, when honoring the request would result in no substantial inconvenience or expense to the police, and when you have been in custody of the arresting officer and under observation for the entire time since arrest.

The implied consent notice advises you of your right to an additional independent chemical test of your blood, breath, urine or other bodily substance at your expense and from qualified personnel of your own choosing after first submitting to the required State tests.  The officer must make reasonable efforts to accommodate you in obtaining an independent test. You are not entitled to an independent test until after you have submitted to the State's breath, blood, or urine test.  That means that if you refuse to take the State's chemical test, you will not be allowed to get an independent test.

You must make your request for an independent test within a reasonable time after being read your implied consent rights. Your request does not have to be made directly to the arresting officer and can also be made after rescinding your initial refusal, as long as you submit to the State test.

The officer must make reasonable efforts to accommodate you in obtaining an independent test.  If the officer prevents you from obtaining an independent test after you have requested one, the results of the State test you submitted to can be suppressed and not admissible as evidence against you at trial. In evaluating whether your right to an independent test was violated, the courts will look at the totality of the circumstances and specifically: your ability to pay for the requested test; the delay in giving the test if the officer complies with your request; availability of police time at the time the request is made; location of the requested facility; and your ability to make arrangements personally for the test.

Contact Us Today For Immediate Legal Assistance:

Clearly, the Georgia Implied Consent Law is complicated.  It's many subtleties and nuances can lead to potential legal defenses to your DUI. With a legal defense (a defense based on procedure not your actual guilt or innocence), you can potentially win your case even in the event that your were impaired. That is why you want to contact the Best Georgia DUI Lawyers.  The Best Georgia DUI Attorneys know how to make the law work for you, not against you. Our Georgia DUI Lawyers are trained by the same people prosecuting the case against you.  Our Georgia DUI Attorneys know how to defend you and your rights.

We are here 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, nights, and weekends, because your problems should not wait until Monday morning.  Call now and we will put our experience to work for you.

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When you are arrested for DUI in Georgia, finding the right Lawyer is Job #1. At the Law Offices of Richard S. Lawson we will investigate your case and find the best possible legal defense to your DUI in Georgia. You are in good hands with Richard Lawson and his associates. We will work tirelessly to help you while compassionately holding your hand throughout the entire DUI Defense Process.

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At the Law Office of Richard S. Lawson, we have offices conveniently located throughout metro Atlanta and throughout Georgia. If we do not have a convenient office, we will come to you. We practice throughout Metro Atlanta and North Georgia. If your case is in an area we do not serve, we will find you an attorney in your area free of charge. Our office is part of a State-wide network of Georgia DUI Lawyers. Contact us 24/7 for immediate legal help. Our attorneys are standing by. Your DUI Case will not defend itself. Your Best Georgia DUI Defense Begins Here!